The Holiday Spirit is difficult to define. I don’t mean that in the typical dictionary approach but rather in the everyday personal interpretive sense. Ask 10 people what it means, and it will probably vary, though I suspect the theme — fellowship, family and faith — would form some general basis of agreement. (Even the Grinch who grumbles about the holidays can find “comfort” in a reason to complain.) Anecdotally, people seem to be a bit more “lifted” in spirit and personality. You’ll often hear a Happy Holidays or a greeting of Merry Christmas.
The deadline for a vulnerable segment of our population is closing in and the result of congressional inactivity could be devastating. I am referring to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is in peril. Nationally, nearly 9 million youngsters (and about 370,000 pregnant women) receive care through CHIP.
December is Universal Human Rights Month. It began out of the ugliness, terror and cruelty of World War II. In the wake of that devastation and documented cruelty, the United Nations came to a thoughtful, strategic and empowering decision. They issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Dec. 10, 1948, which codified a standard for the treatment of everyone.
There is no greater honor that any of us can receive than to be acknowledged for our service to our community. In fact, there is no greater reward in life in my opinion than that of service to your fellow man. And today, as all of you know, there is no greater need in our society than to be of service to one another.
Many consider Thanksgiving the best holiday of all because it is so inclusive and excludes no one. In its simplest form, all you have to do is say thanks for what you have. However, this year, I’d like you to consider a slightly different approach to Thanksgiving. It’s that extra step that touches someone else and speaks volumes about you.
The stark truth is that there is no cure for diabetes. However, unlike some diseases, diabetes is controllable. And not only is it treatable, but it is also a disease that you can have significant control over if you commit to a lifestyle change. Virtually all experts agree that if you take the time to become educated about the disease and manage it with diet, exercise and possibly medication, you can improve the quality of your life.
In honor of National Hospice & Palliative Care Month, Chief Medical Officer Stephen Goldfine, MD of Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice shares his valuable insights on this ever important facet of healthcare. We must honor the quality of life of every individual, just as we should honor those professionals that provide exceptional service everyday. To quote Dr. Goldfine: "Hospice is not a place – it’s high-quality care that focuses on physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort and the best quality of life during advanced illness."
Voting is the essence of a democracy. Our country was founded on the principles of democratic participation that guaranteed the right of all citizens to have a role in shaping their government. Though for most our country’s existence, it failed to deliver on those guarantees, especially for women and minorities. That said, our imperfect union can only function at its best when its citizens are active participants.
As we continue to think about how best to prepare our current and future workforce for the opportunities that will present themselves, we have to look at how we can and should synergize the offerings at our institutions of higher education and our workforce development goals.
One of the most gut-wrenching and sobering moments of my time as a legislator happened to me a few months ago when I visited one of our district’s senior day programs. I sat in with some of my bosses and listened as many talked about how the escalating price of prescription drugs was forcing them to make a Hobson’s choice between paying for their medicines or going without. Now, we all know that prescription drug prices in our country are rising at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate. And, the numbers as to how bad it’s gotten are staggering.